A long career for .lu and DNS


After almost 24 years at the Restena secretariat, Laurence Battani retired at the end of October 2023. It is an opportunity to highlight her career and commitment to Restena activities, especially about .lu domain names.

Laurence Battani began her career at Restena at the dawn of the third millennium. That was almost 24 years ago when fewer than 7,000 .lu domain names were registered (compared with more than 116,000 in October 2023). The Restena Foundation (created a few months later) was at that time unheard of. She integrated the RESTENA project carried out under the Ministry of Education authority with the logistical support of CRP Henri Tudor (later became the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology - LIST).

When Laurence crossed the doorstep of the RESTENA project team's offices, she joined a team of seven people who had to cope with the increase in activity around .lu domain names. She quickly got down to her first two tasks. The first was to register new .lu domain names - not charged at the time and flooding in by the dozens every day - and the second was to set up an efficient and operational classification system for these domain names.

A wide range of tasks relating to .lu

The end of free .lu domains and the overhaul of procedures in 2001 have added a new dimension to Laurence's work. From then on, billing tasks are added to her daily work. Over the years, Laurence specialised in the Domain Name System (DNS).

"When I arrived at Restena, I had everything to learn about network and security services, but above all, about the infrastructure for registering .lu domain names. I had to catch up quickly, and over time and through training, I managed to master DNS."

Her work on the DNS was impacted in 2006 following the implementation of the ‘registry/registrar’ model, which opened up the marketing of .lu domain names to external domain name registrars. Restena, which was still the .lu registry, became just another registrar. This change - which is renewing professional practices and challenges - is once again enabling it to discover a new facet of the DNS.

"There was a feeling that Restena had become essential. It was as if we had become the conductor of the orchestra of registrars interested in .lu. With the secretarial team at the time, we were there to help and guide them; we were no longer ‘ordinary’ secretaries."

Another revolution in more than two decades at Restena came in 2011 when registration and management of .lu domain names - previously done using paper forms only - was opened to online management. Once again, Laurence and the Restena administrative team found themselves in the firing line to provide support, information and guidance, this time to .lu end-users as Restena's .lu registrar.

From Luxembourg to Belval

From the RESTENA project to the Restena Foundation, Laurence follows Restena's many moves until its installation in 2015 in the Belval district of Esch-sur-Alzette.

"In the previous Luxembourg premises, Restena had a counter with a sliding window and a desk where we could give people information on the spot. Today, contact with users is mainly by telephone or email."

Since then, a number of projects have successively transformed approach to Laurence's day-to-day work. Among them, the change at the head of Restena's management, the revamp of Restena's websites, including those of its .lu service, the new domain name management platform, and the certification of Restena's activities according to the ISO/IEC 27001:2013 standard.

Today, Laurence intends to devote herself to her many extra-professional activities. A range of artistic projects are already on the new pensioner's future agenda.

"I will miss the working environment, the colleagues, the dynamism and the feeling of being interconnected with the whole world, but I know I won't be bored when retiring."